Give 23-year-old San Franciscan Laura Ellner, aka May’s Style Icon OnTheRacks, a hearty drink and a pair of fierce platforms and you’ve got one contented lady. As the marketing coordinator for ShopItToMe.com and the author of a blog filled with musings on the best cocktails and clothing, it’s no wonder her style is so intoxicating. We’re pretty sure Danielle Steele never caught a glimpse of this fashionista before she dissed San Fran’s style. We caught up with Ellner to discuss her Chictopia style journey, the fashion rules she lives by and the elusive art of prancing around in platforms.
Q:When you first joined Chictopia did you think you would become a Style Icon? How does it feel to be at the pinnacle of Chictopia style?
A:No way! I am beyond honored and so very excited to be a Style Icon. Chictopia has such an incredible community of stylish individuals – I am inspired each and every time I visit the site. I am just happy to be a part of such a wonderful community.
Q:Do you feel your style has changed since you joined Chictopia? In what ways?
A:I think so. I feel I have become a bit more adventurous since I started my blog OnTheRacks and joined Chictopia. It is just like anything else, where the more you do it the more comfortable you become, so I am now able to try out different things without feeling as silly or self-conscious.
Q:How did you come up with your username?
A:I started my blog OnTheRacks just before joining Chictopia. I focus mainly on style but also on wine/cocktails, so it was a fun fashionable spin on “on the rocks”.
Q:It seems you have a bit of a penchant for platforms. You incorporate them so gracefully into casual outfits. What tips do you have for rocking them and walking in them?
A:Wow thanks! Platforms are kind of like my secret style weapon. If the platform is tall enough, they’re usually easier to walk in since the slope of the heel won’t be as steep. I definitely prefer platforms and wedges to tall, teetering heels on the streets on San Francisco. Even so, I usually end up taking my shoes off at work or keeping an extra pair of flats close by.
Q:What’s the one accessory or piece of clothing you can never buy enough of?
A:Probably lace bras or bodysuits – I like to layer them underneath lower-cut pieces to add a little sass. And rings! I hate wearing necklaces (they just bug me), but I love wearing tons of rings.
Q:Your blog is focused on “fashion, life and libations”. Have you ever been in a situation where too many libations led to a fashion faux pas?
A:Haha, probably! There has definitely been a night or two where my shoes came off or I lost an earring along the way…
Q:What’s your favorite drink to make?
A:I usually drink red wine, but when it comes to cocktails, the simpler the better. I like vodka martinis and an occasional margarita! Nothing too sweet.
Q:The pieces in your outfits always flow so beautifully together. When you get up in the morning is your outfit already laid out or do you throw the look together right then and there?
A:Thank you again! Not usually… I typically rummage through my closet like a mad-woman until I find something that works. I make a mess and my boyfriend hates it. If I am getting ready for something special though, I will usually lay my outfits out in advance.
Q:Your posts are filled with bold pieces: those gorgeous lace bell bottoms, those vintage orange patterned palazzo pants, that crimson red faux fur coat. Is there any trend you’re afraid to try?
A:Never say never, right? Of course there are things I see that I wouldn’t automatically be drawn to or want to wear, but there is no trend that I can think of that I would be completely afraid to try. I think the best way to dress is just to have fun with your clothing. Sometimes you can make “ugly” things look cool just by styling them in a creative way.
Q:As a master of these adventurous pieces, what advice can you give fellow Chictopians who want to sport something bold but aren’t feeling too daring?
A:If you are wearing one thing that you feel is totally wacky or “out there”, tone your look down by pairing it with something simple (printed palazzo pants with a basic tee, for example).
Q:What’s your style philosophy?
A:Dress for yourself. It is not as important to keep up with the trends as it is to feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing…whatever that may be!
Q:So, what’s going to be your unofficial summer uniform?
A:I wish I could say something fun like rompers and sundresses, but San Francisco stays so cold during summer so probably shorts (if I’m lucky), platform sandals, and chunky knits.
Q:Which musician do you think could quit his or her day job and become a stylist?
A:I don’t keep up with music as much as some people do so I may sound like a poser when I say this, but probably Florence Welch. She is kind of my favorite right now and I think she has really cool style.
Q: Whose name (or names) do you Google when looking for some style inspiration?
A:I love Edie Sedgwick, Kate Moss and Alexa Chung, to name just a few. There are so many stylish and inspiring women (and men!) out there though – not just celebrities. I could go on and on and on.
Q:Mini- or maxi-skirt?
A:I love me a good maxi skirt, but I’d have to say mini. There is something so fun, flirty, and sexy about a girl in a mini skirt, and you can wear them so many different ways!